COLLEGES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
The University of Oxford has 38 Colleges and 6 Permanent Private Halls (PPHs) of religious foundation. Colleges and PPHs are autonomous self-governing corporations within the university, and all teaching staff and students studying for a degree at the university must belong to one of the colleges or PPHs. These colleges are not only houses of residence, but have substantial responsibility for student teaching. Generally tutorials (one of the main methods of teaching in Oxford) and classes are the responsibility of colleges, while lectures, examinations, laboratories and the central library are run by the university. Most colleges take both graduates and undergraduates, but several are for graduates only.
Undergraduate and graduate students may name preferred colleges in their applications. For undergraduate students, an increasing number of departments practise reallocation to ensure that the ratios between potential students and subject places available at each college are as uniform as possible. For the Department of Physics, reallocation is done on a random basis after a shortlist of candidates is drawn upon and before candidates are invited for interviews at the university.
For graduate students, many colleges express a preference for candidates who plan to undertake research in an area of interest of one of its fellows. St Hugh's College, for example, states that it accepts graduate students in most subjects, principally those in the fields of interest of the Fellows of the college.
A typical college consists of a hall for dining, a chapel, a library, a college bar, senior, middle (postgraduate) and junior common rooms, rooms for 200–400 undergraduates as well as lodgings for the head of the college and other dons. College buildings range from the medieval to modern buildings, but most are made up of interlinked quadrangles (courtyards), with a lodge controlling entry from the outside.